Posts Tagged With: ouray

Back to Ridgway State Park

Ridgway State Park is my favorite Colorado State Park, and probably my favorite state park in America. We stayed there back in 2016, and I was so excited to stay there again this year.

Ridgway State Park has 3 different campgrounds. We started out at the full hookup campground called Pa Co Chu Puk. Interesting name, right?


View from our campsite at Pa Co Chu Puk

Can you believe that view? It was incredible. Last time we stayed there I made some notes about which campsites I would like if we came back, and that was one of them.

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Uncompahgre River at Ridgway State Park

Fat Cat loved this park the last time we went there because there were so many chipmunks for her to hunt. She loved it again this time, but didn’t catch any chipmunks; she must be losing her touch!

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She loves to hide in the grass and wait for critters to pass by.

While we were at this campsite Jake and I went for a beautiful bike ride on the Enchanted Mesa. Last time we stayed there I had to go for bike rides by myself; this time it was so nice to have Jake join me. I’m sad he’s growing up so fast, but at least there are some benefits.

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Enchanted Mesa bike trail

This bike trail is really hard to get to. We had to push our bikes up several switch backs, stopping frequently to catch our breath, until we finally made it to the top where we could ride and enjoy these incredible views.

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On the other side of the trail, Chris and Jesse met us to give us a ride home. But first the boys (all 3 of them) had to try out the giant slide.


One of my favorite mountain towns in all of America is Telluride. We went there twice before, and while staying at Ridgway we went there for a third visit.


The funny thing is there was a snow storm the day we visited Telluride in late May!

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The last 2 times we visited there we went for a hike, but not this time. It was a little too cold, but we still enjoyed the scenic gondola ride.


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The view from the gondola wasn’t quite the same during a snow storm. But I actually enjoyed seeing what it looked like in the snow. Below is a picture of the view from the gondola on a clear day, the first time we went back in 2015.


I could never get tired of visiting this beautiful mountain town.

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Beautiful Telluride

During our stay at Ridgway we moved to a second site at the Elk Ridge Campground. Like I mentioned before, there are 3 campgrounds at Ridgway, and even though it’s a pain to move, we love staying at the different campgrounds in the state park.

On moving day it happened to be snowing, yes in May!


Elk Ridge Campground

A few days later it cleared up and we were able to see this amazing view from the campsite that we couldn’t see the first day.

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I was glad the weather warmed up while we were there so Jake and I could go on another bike ride. This was my favorite bike ride in the country, and I was glad to do it again and share it with Jake.


Start of our bike ride and the amazing views

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Riding along the Uncompahgre River




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Dennis Weaver Memorial Park, a stop along our bike ride

Another one of my favorite mountain towns is Ouray. One thing I love about Ridgway State Park is that it’s close to both Telluride and Ouray.

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Ouray, Colorado — Switzerland of America

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State parks only allow us to stay for a max of 2 weeks. It’s too bad because I could stay in that area for much longer. Can you see why it’s my favorite state park in the country? If you are interested in reading my first post about this park from 2016 you can see it here: Ridgway State Park.

We thought we were done with snow when we left Breckenridge, but we were surprised to have snow a couple of times in this area in late May. Do you think that would have been the end of it? No! We had more snow in June at Grand Teton National Park. Stay tuned to hear about that next.


Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ouray Hot Springs and Falls

Ouray (pronounced you-ray) is a super cute little town in southwest Colorado.  It is nicknamed the Switzerland of America and I can see why.


Ouray Hot Springs was so much fun!  The water is hot year round and we saw pictures of people there in the winter with snow all around while they were in the springs.  How cool is that!  There was still snow on the mountains when we were there, but it wasn’t cold outside anymore.


The boys loved playing on the obstacle course, but before they could do that they were required to pass a swimming test. We assumed this would be easy because they have been swimming since they were babies in our backyard pool.  It turns out it wasn’t quite so easy because they were required to swim with the correct breast stroke and back stroke techniques.  Since the only swimming lessons they ever had were Infant Survival Swimming lessons when they were babies, they have never learned these proper swimming strokes.  They are both really good swimmers but they just didn’t understand what was required.  The lifeguards were nice though and explained what was expected.


Jake passed the first time, but unfortunately Jesse didn’t.  He was pretty disappointed, so we went to the shallow pool and practiced.  I showed him what they were expecting and he picked it up quickly.  He re-took the test and passed!  Now they both could do the obstacle course.

Here are Chris and Jake running the race.



This is the other side of the obstacle course before they slide down into the water.


Jesse and Chris raced too.




And not to be left out, I wanted to get in on the fun too!


Jesse is winning of course!


Besides the obstacle course, there was a water slide that was really fun.



The hot springs was of course the highlight of our time in Ouray, but we also loved visiting this cute little town.  I bet this looks like a winter wonderland in the winter time.  Maybe that’s why they call it the Switzerland of America?




There is a very scenic drive called the Million Dollar highway just at the end of the town.


We only rode on it for a few miles because it was a scary drive.  I don’t have pictures, but when you get higher up, there are no guard rails and the road is narrow and curvy with a very long drop-off on the side of the road.  Chris was white-knuckling that for a little bit until we could find a place to turn around.  The views were amazing though!


We hiked to the Cascade Falls and on the way up we saw this cute little house that reminded me of something you might see in a fairy tale.





We had so much fun in Ouray.  It’s definitely on our growing list of places we would like to return to someday.

Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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